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American Promise is a documentary film spanning 13 years from directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. The film captures the stories of Brewster and Stephenson's 5-year-old son Idris and his best friend and classmate Seun as these families navigate their way through the rigorous prep-school process. The film is set against the backdrop of a persistent educational achievement gap that dramatically affects African-American boys at all socioeconomic levels across the country.

American Promise
American Promise poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoe Brewster
Michèle Stephenson
Release date
  • January 20, 2013 (2013-01-20) (Sundance)
CountryUnited States
Box office$94,000[1]

American Promise premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The filmmakers also launched a national campaign at Sundance to help raise $100,000 and 100,000 volunteer hours for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Mentoring Brothers in Action program.


The PBS documentary series POV was set to broadcast American Promise in 2013. Random House was set to publish a companion book about the film and the issues it raises in conjunction with the American Promise Campaign.


  1. ^ "American Promise (2013)". Box Office Mojo. 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2013-11-19.

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